I wrote the following blog post in October 2011. Why is this significant; and why am I reposting this now? I penned these words seven months before my life would be completely shattered by the death of Lee. It is significant because I prayed for Lee’s life to be spared and it was not. I prayed for an answer that I desperately needed, that my children needed, and we did not receive our answer. God was preparing my heart and mind long before I walked through the devastation. It is the great mercy of God. As I read this post today, I am reminded once again of my need for faith.
13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.
14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
Jesus makes similar statements several times in the farewell discourse (Jn. 15:7, 15:16, 16:23). He is making a point of instructing these disciples on the importance of prayer, and the radical change that would take place in the way they pray. Prayer would now be directed to the Father through Jesus. He is our high priest, and He makes intercession for us. This was new and radical to those Jewish men.
The troubling part of these verses is the fact that Jesus very clearly says, “ask for anything in my name, and I will do it.” I realize that what we ask must be in line with God’s will, and these verses do not mean that we can simply ask for all of our selfish desires. Yet, to walk with Jesus any length of time is to know that asking in His name for something unselfish and seemingly in His will does not mean immediate answers. These verses must be difficult for any mother who has begged God to heal her child, and instead has experienced the pain of death and separation.
When I read these verses I am reminded of our need for faith. I don’t rely on my faith to believe God exists, I can see evidence of His existence all around me. I don’t need my faith to believe that there is a Creator, and I don’t need my faith to believe that Jesus lived. I know that Jesus walked the earth and was crucified. I know that the grave was empty. I can look at the evidence and believe these things to be true. However, I do need my faith to believe that God is always good. I need my faith to believe that He is always with me and that He never leaves me. I need my faith to believe that when I pray and ask for something and it does not happen, my God has chosen the greater end. I need my faith to trust when I cannot see and believe when I cannot understand. It is in these things that a Christian must have faith.